Wilde Ganzen is one PlanFutur's Dutch financial partners who supports our various projects. At the end of 2022, they visited our Water Tower project in Siliko. Ernst Eisma, a Project Advisor at Wilde Ganzen specializing in WASH, recently published a blog article about the project.Read the original blog article here (in Dutch)Download their white paper on WASH (in Dutch)
A wonderful method for a sustainable approach
What can you do if the government does not build water supply and sanitation? In Benin, PlanFutur used a method which allowed them to take action themselves, by creating a sustainable solution to a major water problem.
The village of Siliko in Benin is very isolated. That’s the main reason why the government had overlooked the people living there, and no water supplies were built. The population was eager for clean drinking water and sanitation.
The residents of Siliko raised their problems to PlanFutur. This organization thinks it’s important that young people, in particular, gain the necessary skills and knowledge themselves to tackle their problems. And to deal with the demand for clean drinking water, they used the Community-Led Total Sanitation method (CLTS).
Evaluate, analyse and resolve the problem yourself
The Community-Led Total Sanitation method (CLTS) method helps communities conduct their own evaluation and analysis. It facilitates and mobilizes people to find solutions to their sanitation and hygiene needs. CLTS encourages people to take action to improve their situation by leveraging local knowledge, technology and innovation.
Behavioural change necessary for sustainable access
At the heart of CLTS lies the recognition that simply providing clean drinking water and toilets does not guarantee its use. Subsequently, it might not lead to improved sanitation and hygiene. That is why CLTS focuses on the behavioural change needed to ensure real and sustainable improvements. The focus is shifted from the individual to the collective and thus the entire community is mobilized. Because clean drinking water and sanitation are not only needed at the household level, but throughout the village.
Participatory methods and processes to let people own
CLTS uses participatory methodologies and processes so that people analyze their own sanitation practices. This allows communities to realise in which ways they might be unsanitary, and how they can take action to prevent it. It triggers the community’s desire for collective change, as it were, and drives people to action by encouraging innovation, mutual support and appropriation of local solutions. This leads to more ownership and sustainability.
In this way, Siliko’s 1500 residents will receive a sustainable, accessible water and sanitation facility for which everyone takes responsibility. This makes it an example of a sustainable water project that Wilde Ganzen wholeheartedly supports.